Top 17 Proven Ways to Rebuild Trust After Cheating

By David Small •  Updated: 03/23/21 •  11 min read

When getting married, everyone hopes for a fairytale relationship where the two partners live happily ever after.

Life happens! Along the way, one of you may stray and cheat on the other.

That can create an irredeemable crack in the relationship and even cause divorce. It doesn’t have to be that way.

No matter how much you have been hurt, it is possible to rebuild trust and have a stronger relationship than before.

However, you will need time, patience, and effort to erase the reality of infidelity and start trusting each other again.

In this article, we suggest the top 17 proven ways to rebuild trust after cheating. Read on for more!

  1. Sever Ties with the One You Cheated With

Perhaps it is you who cheated on your spouse. In that case, you cannot restore trust without severing ties with your cheating partner.

Maintaining a connection with them will only make your spouse doubt your commitment to change.

If your partner had cheated, then you should ask them to cut ties with the other person.

That means stopping face-to-face meetings, phone calls, sex, lunch dates, and so on.

As Steve Baker says in the book: Stop Emotional Affairs, preventing infidelity involves cutting the other person from your life.

With that, you will remove the veil of secrecy and start feeling safe in the relationship.

  1. Talk about the Deepest Details from the Affair

According to the experts, it is possible to rebuild trust after cheating by discussing the affair in greater detail. It doesn’t matter how much you could be hurt or embarrassed by the information.

Therefore, the faithful partner should ask questions and listen to detailed explanations by the cheating partner. You will only restore your emotional strength and belief in the relationship if the cheating spouse is open and honest.

Peggy Vaughan, the author of The Monogamy Myth, says Healing is only possible where there’s openness. After all, trust is about being fully open with each other and hiding nothing substantial.

  1. Empathize With Your Significant Other.

You can show your interest in making the relationship work by showing empathy to your spouse.

Even though it might seem impossible with all the anger and emotional turmoil underneath, you should go ahead and try it.

Affairs are known to cause more significant emotional pain that makes you angry at your cheating spouse.

So, why should you empathize with the betrayed spouse? Showing empathy shows how much you value the relationship.

After that, he or she can also focus on helping you rebuild the relationship. You will not encourage your partner to heal but also make the relationship stronger.

  1. Take Responsibility for Bringing Healing to the relationship.

Who is the cheating partner, you or your spouse? That’s because there can be no real healing without the offending partner showing regret and remorse. For that reason, a cheating partner cannot apologize enough.

Even though it is difficult, have your partner commit to never having an affair again. However, it would help if you reminded them not to expect immediate forgiveness. You can’t trust a philandering partner instantly.

That’s they should allow you to feel the pain of betrayal, process it, and come to terms with the reality. In the end, you will discover that time’s the best healer.

Also Related: 21 Proven Ways to Prevent Your Man Cheating.

  1. Discuss the Details of the Affair for As Long As It Takes.

Writing for Psychology Today, Robert Weiss Ph.D. says it is impossible to heal after an affair.

He advises you to take it slow to ensure the Healing is wholesome and not superficial. Without complete healing, the relationship may not work as expected.

That’s why you need to keep talking about the affair long after it has happened. Ask the cheating partner to tell you about what happened in greater detail.

It might be difficult for them even to start talking about what happened. So be patient with them. As you internalize what happened, control your emotions. You don’t want to jeopardize the chance of rebuilding the relationship.

  1. Give Prominence to Information and Not Rage.

If you are the cheated partner, the urge to scream, cry, or lash out can be overwhelming. Because of the affair, your emotions are on overdrive, threatening to explode.

It becomes difficult for the cheating spouse to divulge information as that would only attract emotional outbursts. That’s why we had advised that you develop some level of resilience and compassion to get answers from your spouse.

It would help if you were willing to listen without getting emotional or judgmental. Without that, it would be difficult to restore trust after cheating. The contrary is also true if you are the cheating partner.

  1. Spend Time Together Without Necessarily Talking About the Affair.

How would your relationship be if all you talk about is your spouse’s affair? What if it is you who cheated? Would your spouse feel right talking about it all the time?

The emotional turmoil it causes might be hard for you to deal with. Even so, how would you rebuild trust when all you do is talk about what went down in the affair? So what should you do?

In the book: Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken, Cindy Beall suggests focusing on reviving the relationship. It is excellent to reestablish your friendship before restoring your love life.

  1. Discuss the After-Effects of the Cheating Incident.

Are you heartbroken after your partner cheated on you? Don’t hold onto your feelings.

Instead, talk about your doubts, anger, disappointment, betrayal, and abandonment. That can help your spouse know how much emotional damage you have to grapple with.

He or she will also know that their fault in engaging in hurtful actions. While at it, start helping your spouse to build a boundary against the former lover.

Restore intimacy between the two of you so that you can quickly overcome the overwhelming emotions.

  1. Be Consistent In Your Actions.

If you want to rebuild trust after cheating, you have to establish operational strategies and ground rules. Having been in the relationship for a long, you might have forgotten the promises you had made to each other.

The challenges you have gone through could have made you veer off the path to rebuilding the relationship. In Unfaithful: Hope and Healing after Infidelity, Gary & Mona Shriver says you should make new relationship consistency guidelines.

Furthermore, you should renew your commitment to each other and make the relationship foolproof.

Also Related: 21 Things that will Help You Survive An Affair.

  1. Don’t Be In a Hurry to Forgive the Cheating Partner.

No one can forget that their partner cheated on them. No matter how long it takes, healing all the scars in your heart might not be possible.

However, with time, the painful memories begin to wane. At some point along the way, make sure to forgive your spouse. It should be at a time when the hurt has significantly reduced, and you feel like moving on.

Writing the book: Worthy of Her Trust, Stephen Arterburn et al. say only forgiveness can help you survive the affair. However, it would be best if you only did it after overcoming all anger and negative emotions towards your spouse.

  1. Avoid Telling Other People about the Affair.

How did you find out about your partner’s affair? Was it exposed by someone close to you? If so, then it is likely that your family members and friends know about it. There would be no need of you concealing the affair.

However, avoid involving outsiders in the unfolding situation as that will only make it more complicated. Once you and your spouse have agreed to rebuild trust, keep the details between the two of you.

Avoid sharing every detail of your Healing with others. When outsiders start adding their opinions to what’s happening, there will be a total shift in the relationship’s dynamics.

Trust After Cheating

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

  1. Stop Blaming Yourself.

Why should you blame yourself for your partner’s cheating? Unfortunately, many people end up thinking that their inadequacies might have led their partner to cheat.

Perish the thought. Your partner cheated because they wanted it and not because of anything you did. If there was a problem, your spouse should have tried to resolve it instead of cheating on you.

As Linda J MacDonald says in the book: How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair, avoid overburdening yourself. Instead, let the one who cheated on you take the leading role in rebuilding trust in the relationship.

  1. Meet Each Other’s Basic Emotional Needs.

You and your spouse have decided to rebuild trust after cheating. One of your resolutions is for your partner never to contact their former lover.

That means there is a vacuum in how they used to meet their emotional needs. Consequently, it would help if you plugged in the void by meeting each other’s emotional needs.

Make the relationship as passionate as the one with their former lover.

By meeting each other’s emotional needs, you will help break off from ties with previous lovers.

Therefore, you should use teamwork to ensure the relationship survives the storm arising from the affair.

  1. Review the Causes of the Affair.

What wrong could you have done to push yourself or your partner into an affair? Whether you would like to acknowledge it or not, affairs don’t just materialize from nothing. They arise from repeated mistakes, which eventually grow into unwanted habits. And if you don’t control habits, they will become part of your character. So talk about the reasons for the affair? Could you have done something to push your spouse into another person’s hands? What can you do to improve the situation in the relationship? Ensure you do everything to bring the two of you back together.

  1. Get Back Together.

Now that you have decided to rebuild trust after an unfortunate cheating incident, why don’t you get back together?

That means you should start dating all over again. Participate in adventure or teamwork activities like hiking, canoeing, or camping.

In her book: Turning to One Another, Margaret J. Wheatley suggests having fun activities to rekindle your emotional bond.

Doing regular fun activities together can help you overcome resentment and detachment, bringing restoration to the union.

  1. Focus on Rebuilding Trust After Cheating.

To rebuild trust after cheating, the two of you should take deliberate steps and not just leave it to chance.

In her book: After the Affair, Janis A. Spring says you need the spirit, heart, clarity, and wisdom for that. Of course, Healing doesn’t come from anything.

It is as a result of diligent steps towards restoring the relationship to what it was before. First, you should focus on healing the pain you suffered.

Then, you should try to rebuild trust between the two of you.

  1. Ask a Counselor for Help.

It could be hard for you to know everything you should do to rebuild trust in your relationship.

In that case, you should involve a counselor. Of course, it can be hard for you to involve a third party in your relationship.

With the help of a counselor, you will be able to break down the relationship issues and handle them one at a time.

A professional counselor also helps you improve in certain aspects such as communication, intimacy, and trust.

It would help if you realized that rebuilding trust in the relationship is up to the two of you, not the counselor.

With that, you should religiously attend counseling sessions and follow advice from the counselor.


Are you looking for ways to rebuild trust after cheating?

Start by severing ties with the former lover and talking about the most in-depth details of the affair.

Also, empathize with your spouse, take responsibility for Healing, and keep talking about what happened.

However, prominence should be given to information and not rage. The best way to heal is to spend time together, discuss the affair’s after-effects, and take consistent actions.

Remember not to forgive too soon, share details of the relationship with others, or blame yourself. By knowing the causes of the affair, you can avoid getting into one in the future.

Finally, get back together, rebuild trust, and ask for help from a counselor.

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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